NEW MUSIC: Las Vegas, NV rock band WICKED GARDEN Releases Official Music Video for "Home, Too Far" - LISTEN TO IT HERE
ALBUM REVIEW: Stephanie Stevens reviews the highly anticipated debut album God For A Day from the metal band Repentance - READ IT HERE
BY: Stephanie Stevens
REPENTANCE a band that was formed by a former frontman/rapper in Stuck Mojo Robby Fonts and a veteran and well known guitar player in the music world Shaun Glass. Glass who always had that hidden potential to go full fledge metal on us has finally done it with this new band. Along with these noted musicians I mentioned above REPENTANCE is rounded out by the artistry of Kanky Lora on drums, Mike Sylvester on bass and Markus Johansson on guitar. This debut album GOD FOR A DAY is a metal fans dream come true and I reckon I have found the album of the year of 2020! The band didn't just make songs they made a metal story tale (like a fairytale but not so cutesy..because this is fuckin metal people!)
But on a serious note I literally was blown away on first listen to this album and was a bit nervous to write a review because how do you write about brilliance. The album will assault your ear holes with all metal genres from the straight forward devil horns up Metal, to the black metal darkness, to the grit of Thrash metal its all perfectly incorporated without being over emphasized in any one genre. This American band brought the no hold bars attitude of the European music community, which is write what you love and fuck the rest!. The outcome is an impactful and solid album that will be a classic over time. The raging assault in ONLY THE DAMNED DIE YOUNG is seriously infectious. The vocal patterns rage with a low end brutality to high octane screams that make an impactful statement in this song and throughout. ENTER THE GALLOWS waves the metal flag high and proud; its grueling, driving and head-banging to the core. BORN TO CHOOSE and DELIVERANCE reminded me of what got me into metal in the first place and that was way back in the day when the band Sanctuary came out and I was hooked. These two songs brought me back to those day and gave me a reminder that artists can still make real metal in this day and age. the track GOD FOR A DAY has some of the best guitar slaying ever. But the show stopper and all out must hear on this album is track three, the song CLARITY! It defines and possesses the talent in each and ever band member that gave his blood sweat n tears to make this debut. The energy, the driving elements and the power of this song just hands down gave me chills and made me love what music was meant to do for people, make them feel emotion!
GOD FOR A DAY gives you the metal you have been lacking for many years. REPENTANCE is a band made up of such talented musicians and the creativity to me is so organic and natural from track to track that everyone involved on this album should be so proud of this finished product!! METAL is back in full swing guys and if you sleep on this album you are missing out
INTERVIEW: Stephanie Stevens talks with Layne's Calling frontman Joey Cox about their NEW self titled EP and much more - READ IT HERE
BY: Stephanie Stevens
After 15 years playing guitar Joey Cox turned to the frontman position and showcasing his vocal talents. LAYNES CALLING was born in 2018 with Cox settling into this new journey as a musician and he was surrounded by some influential and motivating factors as in bandmates Rich Brown-guitar, Brandon Smith-guitar, Matt Harvey-bass and Nate Woods-drums.
The guys recently just released their first self titled EP with 6 songs that are filled with southern gritty rock, driving powerful melody; add in the flair of Coxs vocals that embrace delicate rock grace with in your face infectious energy and smoldering almost entrancing rough n rugged vocal elements its a blend of the next southern success story in the rock n roll community.
LAYNES CALLING has solid tunes, a great story and if the plague of 2020 would let us get back to normal this band is going to kill stages all around the country.
I had a chance to speak with Joey about the band name, switching gears and roles as a musician and much more
Q: What does the band name LAYNES CALLING mean to you guys as a band and who came up with it?
A: After the release of Not Well and garnering attention from several different influential sources and after receiving a distribution deal with Pavement Entertainment, I decided it would probably be best to put together a band it just so happened we received our contract with Pavement on the anniversary of Layne Stayley's death!
Q: After many years of guitar playing, you made a change to frontman. Was there a missing element in vocal ability you thought you could bring or was it more of the idea of being able to release emotional energy being a singer/frontman?
A: Yes, there was a huge missing element we didn't have one. Lol. All kidding aside, I never considered myself a vocalist until after being pushed by my wife to write lyrics for Not Well!
Q: Do you still have a big part in the guitar writing for the band now a days also?
Answer: Yes, I actually play guitar on every track of the e.p. Im consistently writing new riffs at home to bring to the table for the band to mess with!
Q: The band formed in 2018 so still a baby band. Where did you find the rest of the band members and what attributes did they have that made you want them to be a part of this band?
A: I was introduce to Rich our guitarist through a mutual friend, Rich had just left the band FLAW and he could really throw down on guitar and had the ability to match what i was doing, he then brought in our rhythm guitarist Brandon who also had the ability to slay so he fit right in, Brandon in turn brought Matt our bassist in and Matt instantly proved that he could not old play but he could put on a show and bring a different energy, Brandon also introduced us to our drummer (Mad) Mike Calvert and if you see this guy play you will understand the reason behind his nickname. Its not very often you will meet a guy that goes out and leaves every ounce of energy, blood, sweat, and tears all on stage and in every rehearsal.
Q: The self titled EP Is your first music the world will be hearing as Laynes calling. How would you describe the tone and ambiance of the songs on this disc?
A: The EP has a little bit of everything for every music listener, because it was written over several different time periods in my life. Its kind of a journey through my happiest of times to some of the darkest days i've experienced. So to give a specific theme or tone I would say its very blunt and in your face!!
Q: Did you take any new approaches in songwriting that you never had going into this new band?
A: Not really, my song writing process has always been pretty basic. I don't lay scratch tracks I might go into the studio with absolutely nothing in mind, but I always leave feeling relieved and free and with a new song.
Q: How much did you learn from each other putting the songs together and do you feel writing is always a way to learn more about each other, being a new band or even if you had been together for many many years?
A: our guys came in pretty close to the end of the recording process for the E.P so there is still a certain mystery there, and we are still learning little things about each other all the time, I think that's kind of part of the evolution of any band, as more time goes on our ideas and beliefs may change but one thing is always constant the energy we bring to the studio and stage.
Q: Why did you choose NOT WELL as your platform single for the EP? Was there a defining moment recording it when you knew that had to be the song that the world heard first?
A: A: Not Well was my first professional production, and was my very first release to the world to kind of test the waters and see if it was something that could stick.
Q: What is the most important thing about music/art that can help people in your opinion?
A: I think theres something special in music that a lot of art forms fail to do and that it has the ability to connect to listener on so many different emotional levels. If your sad you can turn to music, if your happy, mad, etc.. music is always there.
Q: What do you hope people will remember most about ur art/music?
A: That no matter how dark of a road your on there is always a light to bring you back to center!!
Q:If you could give people struggling with finding a passion they love to do, what advice would you tell them?
A: Thats a tough question its hard for me to give someone advice to pursue a subject matter that they aren't even sure they want to pursue.
Q: Empower another artist by telling us someone u admire and why you admire them?
A: My biggest inspiration in my life and someone i truly admire would have to be my wife.. my wife believed in me when no one else did, she pushed me to follow my dreams and she held not only the house down but our finances as well as i pursued music. She does all this battling chronic illnesses just because she believes in me. So my wife will always be the person i admire most!!
NEW MUSIC: Hyro The Hero unleashes powerful song and video for "We Believe" featuring Disturbed's David Draiman - WATCH IT HERE
MUSIC NEWS: TETRARCH’s “I’m Not Right” Enters Top 40 on Billboard Mainstream Rock and Mediabase Active Rock Charts - READ IT HERE
Modern metal phenom TETRARCH’s new single, “I’m Not Right,” from their forthcoming Unstable album, debuted at 39* on the Billboard Rock Charts and Active Rock Mediabase, further solidifying the potency of the fast-rising frontrunners.
“We are honored to crack the top 40 of the ‘Billboard’ mainstream rock chart,” guitarist Diamond Rowe says. “The love from our fans around this song has been amazing and we know that it is only the beginning of our journey as a future headliner in the hard music genre.”
An official video for “I’m Not Right” has already amassed more than 1.3 million views. Watch it at https://youtu.be/YGbXuxGh1Dk.
Rowe and guitarist Josh Fore are featured artists this week in Guitar World’s “Sick Riffs” series, where the pair offers an instructional video on how to play “I’m Not Right.” Watch the lesson at https://youtu.be/hpV8pod3iPo.
Fierce individuality and a fearless embrace of the outsider are at the heart of TETRARCH, a band equally defined by metallic power and melodic hooks. Seamlessly blending technical chops and aggressive ferocity with menacing groove and massive choruses, TETRARCHobliterates musical barriers. The band’s tireless hard work and relentless determination has established TETRARCH as one of the top up and coming bands in heavy music, catching the attention of major media, including Guitar World, Guitar Player, Premier Guitar and Metal Hammer where lead guitarist Diamond Rowe was the first African American female lead guitarist from the heavy metal genre to be featured.
TETRARCH’s Unstable was recorded earlier this year with producer Dave Otero (Cattle Decaptitation, Allegeon, Khemmis) and is due for release next year via Napalm Records.
Josh Fore – vocals/guitar
Diamond Rowe – lead guitar
Ryan Lerner – bass
Ruben Limas – drums
NEW MUSIC: BLACKTOP MOJO has released the official music video for their single, "Signal's Gone," off of their May 2020 released EP, Static. - WATCH IT HERE
"All too often today, people have the option of not having the hard conversations with the people in their lives because we no longer have to do it face to face. It is much easier to "ghost" someone, and let a relationship fade in time with no real closure than it is to look that person in the eye and say, 'This isn't working.'" - Matt James
NEW MUSIC: SOUTH OF EDEN PAYS HOMAGE TO AUDIOSLAVE WITH RAW, LIVE MUSIC VIDEO & COVER OF "SHOW ME HOW TO LIVE" - LISTEN TO IT HERE
Following up the incredible response to their newly released debut EP, The Talk, the video for the title track of which premiered on Rolling Stone, hotly buzzing Columbus, OH rock band SOUTH OF EDEN has released a raw, unflitered video for their cover of the 2003 AUDIOSLAVE hit single "Show Me How to Live." Filmed live at Sonic Lounge Studios in Grove City, Ohio and premiered with the legendary SPIN, "Show Me How to Live" was directed, filmed and edited by John Payne of Payne Productions.
NEW MUSIC: Captivating Guitar Player BOBBY KELLER Releases Second Single, “Light Bearer” LISTEN TO IT HERE
The highly anticipated second single from accomplished guitarist BOBBY KELLER, “Light Bearer,” is available today.
“‘Light Bearer’ takes you on a non-stop, in-your-face guitar assault with intricate and technical rhythm guitar playing, infused with some infectious leads and surrounded by clever harmonic chaos,”KELLER says.
A video for “Light Bearer” was filmed with JAZEL of Black Card Films at KDS One Studios in Orlando, FL, and is also available today via Ultimate Guitar at https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/news/upcoming_releases/ultimate_guitar_exclusive_premiere_guitarist_bobby_keller_releases_light_bearer_video.html.
After the successful release of his debut solo single “Reign In Fire,” in March of this year, KELLERonce again teamed up with producer/mixer/drummer Ben Johnson (New Dilemma, Miss Fortune) to write and record the song at Reverse 13 Studios in Orlando, FL. The track was mastered by Machine (Lamb Of God, Clutch, Fall Out Boy) at The Machine Shop.
KELLER has been making his way up the music scene with his unique style of guitar playing since 2009. He is considered one of the top guitar players in Florida and the south east. Inspired by guitarists such as Eddie Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix and Dimebag Darrell, KELLER combines both untamed speed and euphonic rhythm into his technique to create a truly individual sound.
With the band Meka Nism, KELLER has performed nationally along with numerous renowned artists from a variety of genres, from Evanescence and Stabbing Westward to Hellyeah and Gojira. In 2016, KELLER was recruited to star in the Theater Works Production of Rock of Ages as the lead guitar player for the “house band” at the Bourbon Room in Hollywood, CA. KELLER teamed up with drummer Ben Johnson last year to make his dream of recording a solo album a reality.
While working on his solo material, KELLER has also recently joined the modern rock band New Dilemma. The band’s debut single, “Is Your Story Over,” the opening track from the EP of the same name, features a solo recorded by KELLER before officially joining the band. “Is Your Story Over” has charted on the Billboard and Foundations Mainstream Radio Rock Charts.
Through the years KELLER has been endorsed by ESP Guitars, EMG Pickups, Richter Straps, Fortin Amps, SIT Strings, WB Gear, Neural DSP, Graph Tech Guitar Labs, FU-Tone, Klotz Cables and JH Audio.
BOBBY KELLER online:
INTERVIEW: Stephanie Stevens talked with Ditchwater guitarist Mark Anderson about their seventh album NEVER SAY NEVER and more! - READ IT HERE
By: Stephanie Stevens
DITCHWATER has been a huge factor in the Chicago rock scene for some time now. Us at the East Coast Romper are very happy to say we have covered this band on multiple occassions with help in promoting the bands new releases, live shows and so forth. The band has endured the music industry shifts, weathered the storm on band members and the highs and lows of being a family forged in music.
NEVER SAY NEVER is the bands 7th studio album that just got released and the band concentrating on creating a unique but true sense of what DITCHWATER will always be known for, the heavy grooves, heart pumping melodies and the key to it all is the ambition and energy you feel when turning on songs like THIS PAIN, MY LAST BREATH and HOW MANY TIMES.
I had the pleasure of connecting with guitarist Mark Anderson about the creation of the new album, the cover of a Motorhead song and what the band meant to them, being connected to Pavement Entertainment and much more
Q: Being in the scene since 93 what has been the biggest positive thing you seen happen to the scene and the biggest downfall of the music scene?
Mark: Positives are that it is easier to make music and just about anyone can do it from home now. Set up your own studio cheaply, release your own music online. When I started, everyone was at the whim of “getting signed” to get anything at all done. This is also part of the negative I think as there is just so much music out there that even though it’s out there to be heard, getting someone to pay attention is almost harder than ever before. There is just a vast amount of choices that people skip over it and go with what they know anyway. We’re all music slaves to the mighty algorithm and playlists of YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music…
Q: How have you guys as a band stuck together so long? And where do you see bands failing that dont stay together? What would be your advice to them?
Mark: We haven’t really lol. I mean, I been here most of the time and Mike (vocals) has been with me since 2002 (outside of a year or two mixed in). We tend to get going, release some music then things dissolve, and we quietly go away then come back a year later. That was our pattern for a while. Getting people to hang around a small DIY band for any length of time is very hard so we tended to re-emerge with new line ups often. What is different this time is me and Mike decided back in 2018 to really stop shooting ourselves in the foot. Often with nonsense fights over stupid things that in the end didn’t matter. Ever since then we’ve been on the same page. We focused on making the best album we could and beyond that put no pressure on ourselves, and here we are. My best advice is to work as a team, have a common goal. You’ll likely go through some variations before achieving this but why stop your dream because someone else packed up their stuff and ran home?
Your 7th album NEVER SAY NEVER just got released. What was the biggest focul point when you started the songwriting process for this one? And with that focul point how did it help you with personal growth as a musician/artist?
Mark: The vision was to finally create an album from top to bottom that was solid and represented who we are. We didn’t write anything on this record with specific influences in mind nor to try and fit in with any current trend or musical genre. Our past albums tended to be more batches of songs put together to create an album and not really recorded at the same time with the same energy and mindset. I and Mike wrote the album in April of 2018 and we recorded it from August of 2018 to May of 2019. Personally, I really wanted to show off more of what I can do on guitar and this album has probably the most solos we’ve ever done. Mike was going through some throat issues during the recording and it is amazing he was able to do what he did considering.
HANDS HELD OUT one of the new songs in my opinion gives a different approach vocally from verse to chorus. Was this something you wanted to experminent to pull out new abilities and techniques vocally?
Mark: I started out writing this song by really wanting to deviate from the other songs in how it was structured. I started out with the chorus riff, which normally I’d use something like that for a bridge but making it the chorus really shifted how it came together. The acoustics were added last in the studio and really made the song stand out in my view. We’ve done the soft verse and heavy chorus on quite a few songs in the past, but I did not want it coming out like a ballad, the goal was something more epic sounding and a little old school in that regard. I think we achieved a good feeling with this one.
A cover from Motorhead IRON FIST made the disc also, why did you choose this classic song? What is one thing Lemmy and the band embedded into the scene in your opinion?
Mark: This song always stuck with me because I remember seeing the video as a kid and it obviously made a lasting impression. I think sometimes our music doesn’t always express the grit and looseness of a band like Motorhead, but it is definitely in our nature. It really came out great I thought, we were a little unsure how it would sound until Mike laid the vocals down and it just really felt awesome after that. It’s one of the most fun songs to play for me right now. Lemmy and Motorhead had that persistence that we prescribe to, they were a constant and always there when he was alive. They’d put out an album every 2 years and tour like clockwork. I think that is missed in todays age where bigger bands put out 1 or 2 albums a decade.
You also have a new album in 2020 with Pavement Entertainment how did they find you was it hearing new demos of this album or had that know about you from the years?
Mark: It’s a few things. We’ve known Tim (who works with Pavement) from his band SOiL since around 2000. We used to open of them at places like Metro and House of Blues in Chicago often. They know how much we’ve worked and what we’ve achieved in all the years we been out working it. Our drummer Mike Tignino, who joined in June of 2019, did some shows for SOiL over the years and is long time friends with their camp. We already had the album ready and they picked it up and have been running with it so far. Hopefully people latch on and buy it so we can make another one!
With you being a very DIY independent band for so many years how is it now having Pavement taking over some aspects? And are you struggling with letting anything go since you always had done everything?
Mark: There is still a lot of things you can’t reach as a DIY band so we’re glad to have the extra push. We all work normal jobs outside of playing music so being able to be a little more hand’s off on certain things is good thing right now. We still go about pretty much everything how we always have. No one is going to like your music as much as you, so I’ll always work on it regardless. Plus, the pandemic has stopped any aspects of touring, which with a national release behind us would have been where we perhaps got the biggest benefit, but we shall see when and if things return to normal.
With 2020 the way it is touring seems out. Are you guys doing any livestreams or staying active in some capacity?
Mark: We are working on setting up a Live Stream concert as we speak. Maybe do them monthly or something. The limited capacity shows don’t seem worth it to me personally right now as you can’t make enough of those to formulate a tour from it plus different states have different quarantine rules it just makes a potential mess.
If touring does take back up will you guys do a full fledge tour and in your opinion how do you feel life the way it was on the road will change for anyone involved?
Mark: I’m reading that some musicians are now saying they don’t expect to be back touring until 2022. It’s crazy to think that. I think we have to wait and see if there is a new wave of infections this October and if any media coverage remains depending on who wins the election. I’d like to think things will be “normal” again one day but some say it’ll never be normal again and who knows if that is intentional or not.
The thing that have also kept you guys alive is the fan support. How can you describe your connections to the DITCHWATER fan family?
Mark: it used to be very vibrant online interacting with fans. Social media has really shut down a bands reach unless you pay for ads these days. And even paying for an ad you have no idea if you are reaching the right people. We have like 7000 followers on say Instagram but how many are actually paying attention? Numbers are so hard to read these days for me to actually know how we are affecting people. The worse place is being in the middle with no reaction. I’d rather see both positive and negative reactions then nothing on a comment section of a video.
Q: If you could give people struggling with finding a passion they love to do, what advice would you tell them?
Mark: Having something you’re passionate about is such a blessing and curse at the same time. Is it better to just sit on the couch watching tv and waiting for the next paycheck? For me the highs and lows of trying to launch a band can be frustrating and exhilarating because it is something that I can’t do by myself and I have to rely on others. Other people tend to let you down more often than not. My moods go from 0 to 10 in an instant. I don’t know I have truly good advice for anyone lol
Q: Empower another artist by telling us someone u admire and why you admire them?
Mark: A pizza maker because it is my favorite food and to be able to master a most excellent pie is a trait I’d like to acquire.
DITCHWATER CONSISTS OF:
Mike Meadows - Vocals
Mark Anderson - Guitar
Chris Sampey - Guitar
Greg Heavey - Bass
Mike Tignino - Drums
Contact the band:
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